The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has announced the forthcoming completion of Swift Waters Elementary School, set to amalgamate students from Commonwealth Public School and Toniata Public School at the closure of both locations by the end of the 2023-24 academic year. Located at 556 King St. West, Brockville, the school’s name, Swift Waters, draws inspiration from a notable area on the St. Lawrence River, reflecting the local geography’s significance.
The decision to christen the new establishment was a community-driven process. A school naming committee, comprised of parent and community representatives along with staff members from both schools, reviewed 98 submissions against set criteria. Following thorough evaluation, the top two names underwent a voting process within the respective school communities. Swift Waters emerged victorious and was officially approved during the UCDSB Trustees’ recent meeting on Nov. 22.
Principal Sarah Stone, overseeing Commonwealth Public School and slated to lead the new institution in September, expressed enthusiasm, highlighting the collaborative efforts undertaken to facilitate a smooth transition. “Having a name that was created by the school community will instill a sense of pride and ownership. I’m excited about it,” Stone remarked.
Set on a 14.3-acre plot near Brock Trail and St. Lawrence Park, construction of Swift Waters Elementary commenced in October 2022. Scheduled for completion by September 2024, the single-story building will cater to 504 students, initially accommodating around 440 enrollees. The school’s design encompasses 17 regular classrooms, four kindergarten rooms, specialized spaces for special education and resources, a spacious gym, and learning commons. Noteworthy green initiatives include the incorporation of solar panels and electric car charging stations, complemented by dedicated child care and EarlyON spaces within the premises.
Funded by a substantial investment of $29,797,980 million from the Ministry of Education and the UCDSB, this project aligns with the province’s educational capital investment program, aiming to enrich student learning environments. Additionally, the school stands as a testament to UCDSB’s commitment to better serving Brockville’s families, fostering educational and recreational infrastructural growth and sustainability.
UCDSB Ward 5 Trustee Michel LaBonté expressed optimism about the school’s impending role in nurturing students’ educational journey. “Swift Waters Elementary School is going to be an excellent place for students to learn… students and families are getting to leave their mark on the community,” said LaBonté, acknowledging the significance of this milestone in uniting the educational fabric of the region.